Ken Loach

Ken Loach

Highest Rated: 100% Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach (2016)

Lowest Rated: 53% Poor Cow (1967)

Birthday: Jun 17, 1936

Birthplace: Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, UK

Often labeled a "social realist" but averse to pigeonholing himself as such, Ken Loach is renowned for his reverent depictions of the politics of everyday life. Studiously avoiding Hollywood's siren call, the British director has etched out a reputation for himself in his native country, as one of the film industry's more respected and idealistic figures.Born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, on June 17, 1936, Loach attended Oxford, where he planned on studying law. Instead, he gravitated toward acting with the university's Experimental Theatre Club and following a stint with the RAF, began his career acting in regional repertory theatre. Loach became a director for the BBC in 1961, where an alliance with producer Tony Garnett led to a series of docudramas. One of these, the 1965 Cathy Come Home, was a searing exposé of the problem of urban homelessness and the welfare state in Britain. One of the most controversial films ever produced by the BBC, it led directly to changes in the country's homeless laws. Loach made his feature-length directorial debut in 1968 with Poor Cow. Featuring a very young Terence Stamp as a working-class thief who is thrown in jail, the film blended kitchen-sink realism with New Wave-like stylization, and in focusing on the hardships faced by the wife of the jailed man, provided a glimpse of things to come in the director's future work. His subsequent effort, Kes (1970), went on to be widely recognized as one of the best films ever to be made in Britain. The poignant story of a young boy whose alienation at school and troubles with his family are temporarily allayed when he finds and trains a young kestrel, Kes was a captivating, uncomprimising exercise in grim reality.Unfortunately, following the success of Kes, Loach's career suffered a number of blows, mainly due to poor distribution of his films and the refusal to broadcast some of his TV work, most notoriously his documentaries covering a 1984 miners' strike. However, the 1990s brought with them a revival of Loach's career and he spent much of the decade turning out one critically acclaimed film after another. Hidden Agenda (1990), a political thriller set in Northern Ireland, was condemned by conservatives for its strongly leftist stance but won the Jury Prize at Cannes and was unique in being one of the few true examples of anti-Stalinist leftism to reach a mainstream audience. Riff Raff (1991) and Raining Stones (1993) were more humorous treatments of working-class politics and struggles, and both won a number of honors at Cannes.Loach's next film, Ladybird Ladybird (1994), was one of his most acclaimed. The harrowing account of a single mother's struggles against the British social service system to get custody of her children, it featured both a brilliant turn by Crissy Rock in the role of the mother and an eloquent, devastating critique of the government's treatment of the poor. The film won a number of international honors, including top prizes at the Berlin Film Festival.Land and Freedom (1995) and Carla's Song (1996) were two of Loach's more poorly received films, although both -- the first an account of the Spanish Revolution of the 1930s and the second a love story set against the backdrop of the Nicaraguan Revolution -- offered clear-eyed vibrancy and strong performances from their leads (Ian Hart and Robert Carlyle, respectively). A similarly strong lead performance was one of the selling points of Loach's next feature, My Name Is Joe (1998). As the film's title character, an unemployed, recovering alcoholic trying to make a living in one of Glasgow's worst neighborhoods, Peter Mullan won the Cannes Festival's Best Actor award. A romance between Mullan's Joe and a social worker (Louise Goodall), set against the turmoil of the neighborhood, the film was inspired by the first half of Carla's Song.


Highest Rated Movies



88% Sorry We Missed You Director 2020
92% I, Daniel Blake Director $0.3M 2017
100% Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach Actor 2016
76% Jimmy's Hall Director 2015
No Score Yet The Save The Children Fund Film Director 2014
89% The Angels' Share Director $0.7M 2013
77% The Spirit of '45 Screenwriter Director 2013
No Score Yet The Price of Coal: Meet the People Director 2011
66% Great Directors Actor $18.4K 2010
85% Looking for Eric Director $0.3M 2010
76% Route Irish Director 2010
No Score Yet What Do You Know About Me? (Di me cosa ne sai) Actor 2009
No Score Yet What Do You Know About Me? Actor 2009
No Score Yet 40 X 15 Actor 2008
84% It's a Free World Director 2007
90% The Wind That Shakes the Barley Director $1.8M 2007
No Score Yet Cathy Come Home Director 2006
No Score Yet Carry on Ken Actor 2006
71% Tickets Director 2005
88% A Fond Kiss Director 2004
97% Sweet Sixteen Director $0.3M 2003
100% The Navigators Director 2003
76% 11'09''01 - September 11 Director Screenwriter 2002
67% Bread and Roses Director 2001
88% My Name Is Joe (Mein Name ist Joe) Director 1999
86% Carla's Song Director 1998
No Score Yet Which Side Are You On Director Producer 1997
77% Land and Freedom Director 1996
75% Ladybird Ladybird Director 1994
100% Raining Stones Director 1993
90% Riff-Raff Director 1991
84% Hidden Agenda Director 1990
No Score Yet Fatherland (Singing the Blues in Red) Director 1986
No Score Yet Looks and Smiles Director 1981
No Score Yet The Gamekeeper Screenwriter Director 1980
No Score Yet Black Jack Screenwriter Director 1979
80% Family Life Director 1971
100% Kes Screenwriter 1969
No Score Yet Up the Junction Director 1968
53% Poor Cow Director 1967
No Score Yet Diary of A Young Man Director 1964


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